A/N: 2x22 was SO epic! WITH CAPTAIN SWAN! How long have we waited for that, guys? Anyway, I wrote a two-shot in which I detail (to the best of my ability) Hook's perspective in the Captain Swoon moments ;-) of this episode. Enjoy, read, and review! Here's to Season 3!
"You're mad. I can live with myself."
"Give it back!"
"If she wants to die for us, I say let her."
He didn't care. Wouldn't care. He never had—not since Milah, or perhaps not since a few hopeful moments with young Bae, when he had thought for a moment that there might still be a chance for him to change.
There hadn't, and he hadn't.
Yet here he was, standing in this curious place—they called it a 'restaurant,' in this world?—surrounded by two dozen earnest faced people who all wanted to be heroes. He wasn't one of them. Not a hero. No, on the contrary—he had been rather instrumental in the plans of those who were causing the town's destruction, and the only reason he had parted company with them was because his own safety had been jeopardized.
That was the only reason. It has to be.
He would not admit, no, not even to himself, that Tamara and Greg's ruthless plans had discomfited him, had caused a twinge to the conscience he hadn't known he had.
But to kill the whole town—
No. He was only doing this for himself. That's the way it had always been. That was the only plan of his that had ever worked. Until—
Her. Here she was before him now, pleading with him, calling on his humanity—oh, that was pointless. He had no humanity. His heart was as sharp, twisted, cold and hard as his hook.
"You and I, we understand each other."
She was desperate. Desperate, begging him. But still proud. There was still fire in her eyes—those eyes, that when they had first looked in his, had stirred him in a way that no-one had since Milah died.
"Look out for yourself and you'll never get hurt, right?"
"Worked out quite well for me." He tossed the words carelessly at her, but he knew—or hoped he knew—that she would fling them back in his face, challenge him. Challenge his heart, the way no-one else would.
"We're doing this. It might stupid, it might be crazy, but we're doing it."
Would he do it—be stupid, be crazy? Never. Not even for Swan. Right?
She was talking again. "So, you can join us, and be a part of something, or you can do what you do best, and be alone." She was so close to him—he could feel her determination. Her desperation. Her passion.
He hadn't meant to remark on that, hadn't meant to betray himself, but the words tumbled out before he could stop them—and it was all he could to deliver them with his usual, swaggering, searching, flirtatious glance. "Quite passionate, Swan."
The room emptied about them, but he barely noticed. Her eyes, dark now in her pale, proud, beautiful face were all he could see. "Why are you really doing this?"
He didn't want her to care either—that would make it easier for him—but he knew she did. About her family—her parents, Henry. The town. Even Regina, with whom she had some sort of begrudged friendship.
Yet there was something more here. Grief, pain. Something had happened already.
Emma's face tightened with emotions she was too guarded to show. "The kid just lost his father today," she whispered. "I'm not letting him lose a mother, too."
Shock poured over him, cold and powerful as an ocean wave. "His father? Who's Henry's father?" Of course Henry had a father, but even though he hated himself for it, it hurt to think of him. It hurt to think of him here.
Emma's eyes didn't falter, though her voice seemed a touch reluctant. "Neal."
"Baelfire." The world was ending—why was it only now that the air seemed to have rushed out of the room?
"Yeah," she breathed. Her eyebrows tilted up. He didn't know what she was feeling, but it was clear that his reaction—why had he reacted at all?—had not gone unnoticed.
She left after that, her golden hair glinting in the dying sunshine as she raced after the others.
Betrayed, again. But why? By what?
Didn't you betray her?
He stared at the luminescent bean in his hand. Why was he the one who felt used?
Forget it, you're going soft. Use the bean and get out. Go!
Doubtless, Emma still loved Baelfire. His last hope—had it even really been a hope?—was gone. He was better off serving himself, as he had always done.
"…you can do what you do best, and be alone."
The memory of her words stung him. Suddenly, somehow, despite the fact that the world was ending, Baelfire was Henry's father, and he could save himself, it no longer felt easy to be alone.